I have been hearing a lot about Tracking Point, a brand new, state-of-the-art bolt action rifle which claims anyone can pick it up and shoot a target at 1,000 yards and hit it on the first shot. So, never having done long distance shooting before, I drove 563 miles to Ohio in order to put Tracking Point’s claims to the test.
I arrived at their facility, and after all the proper introductions were made, they sat me down and educated me on the basic operation of the rifle, as well as the technology they are using. Among other things, they explained how the precision guided technology calculates the coreolis effect, temperature, cant, distance; essentially everything but the wind. Before you shoot you have to enter the specifications of the ammunition you are using so that it can calculate the ballistic coefficient for you. The computer also keeps a round count and calculates the wear on the barrel.
My favorite feature is the scope. It works like a 1400 megapixel camera which you can zoom and focus with, and it even records video and audio so you can go back and re-experience your hunt or shoot. Also, it has a wi-fi server incorporated into it so you can stream video for others to see exactly what you are seeing through the scope, from the comfort of an air-conditioned room.
Finally, we got to the hands-on part. First they demonstrated how to input the ammunition and wind factors into the system. Then I learned how to get on target and tag it. If I didn’t like where my tag was on the target, I untagged it, and re-tagged it until I was happy with where my shot was going to go. Finally, it was time to squeeze the trigger, but I quickly learned that the gun was smarter than me. It wouldn’t let me pull the trigger until the crosshairs were exactly where the computer knew they needed to be. When I finally put the crosshairs in the right place, the trigger unlocked and I squeezed off my first shot at a target 400 yards away. It was a perfect shot; I couldn’t believe it!
Then I did the same process for a 600 yard shot, and sure enough, a perfect shot again. My final challenge was shooting a 12 by 12 inch target at 1,000 yards. I will admit that I was unsure about being able to hit a target I couldn’t even see, but I figured I would give it a shot. I put the wind factor into the computer, got comfortable, and looked for my target. Once I had my target in sight, and was happy with where my crosshairs were, I tagged the target. My target now tagged, I slowed down my breathing and worked on getting my crosshairs lined up before slowly squeezing my shot off. Almost immediately my spotter yelled “hit”. However, it seemed like forever (although I’m sure it was only 4 or 5 seconds) before I was able to actually hear the bullet strike the target. I was in absolute disbelief…. I had just hit a target one thousand yards away with my first shot.
At the end of the day I had to admit that Tracking Point was everything they had claimed it could be, and they had made a long distance shooter out of me in just a few hours. Essentially, they made a believer out of a skeptic.
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